Tuesday October 18, 2016
Friday October 21, 2016
Mid-Autumn: Season of dramatic change
If we look at what’s happening outside us, in nature, we are seeing a mirror image of the changes going on inside us, in all aspects of our lives and our businesses.
Up to now, Autumn has been beautiful; bright, vibrant colors for weeks on end. Warm, balmy temperatures from pleasant sixties to upper seventies that kept me outside, thinking every jacket-free day might be the last. But more kept coming, and I basked in the beauty of it.
Today, however, we have heavy and much needed rain. Our weatherman says it’s going to keep coming down for the next couple of days, and the temperatures will stay in the forties and fifties and lower.
This just in: 2-3 inches of snow coming overnight Saturday in northern and southern central NY!
This system is ushering in a major transition...
We’re changing from the beauty, vibrance and sunshine of the Summer-into-Fall season, into the bare limbs, darkness and chill of the Fall-into-Winter season.
The winds and rains strip away the leaves, which are losing their brightness and changing to brown. They fall to the ground to rot away and store their richness in the earth to sustain it through the cold months to come.
We Humans are creatures of the Earth We are intimately connected to Her patterns and seasons and cycles whether we’re aware of it or not. And being aware and awake is a path to enlightenment, so it’s always good to pay attention.
This is the season of the final harvest. This is often explained as a time to cut away that which is no longer serving us. And that’s certainly a part of it. But I see it more as a time for releasing with love and gratitude, those things which have served us well. It isn’t so much getting rid of what we don’t want. That’s not the energy of harvest at all.
The energy of harvest is a gathering of the fruits that the previous months have grown in our lives and businesses, and then leaving the vines to their fate. We don’t keep weeding the garden through the frost and the snowstorms. We leave it lay, allowing the spent greenery to decompose and nourish the earth and ready it for new planting in the spring.
To translate this into our inner lives... This is the part that can be so empowering. We gather the wisdom that we have gained from every experience we’ve lived over the past spring and summer and early fall, the good and the bad, the fun and the not so fun. We have learned and grown from every one of them.
We don’t need to tend those plants that caused the growth (the experiences themselves.) We can release them, let them go. They’ve served us well, all of them. We’ve expanded beyond what we were before. That was their only job. To make us grow beyond them.
Every failure. Every bad review. Every low royalty check. Every ineffective promotion. Every flawed cover. Every flop. Every sling and arrow fired at us all year long…every one of them made us grow. They are the events, the vines we now leave behind to rot. The growth is what we keep.
A beautiful autumn exercise
As we approach the final harvest of Samhain, we can benefit from a look back at where we were this past February and March. What were we doing? Look back on those Facebook posts and tweets, and re-read your journal from that time if you keep one. (And if you don’t keep one, this would be an excellent time to start.) Look at your bank accounts and your to-do lists from February and March, along with any lists of goals and resolutions you made for your business in 2016.
And then flip forward, through your spring and summer and notice every incident and experience that was important enough to write down or post about or blog about, good or bad.
As you think back on every event, think about how you changed because of it, how you grew, what you learned, how you are different after the event than you were before.
If you experienced a loss, think about what you gained by having this person or thing in your life, and how different you are for having known and experienced them.
Write these things down. This is your harvest. Take time to feel true gratitude and appreciation for them.
Think back over every marketing plan you put into action. Over every new cover design your tried. Over every ad you took out, every contest you ran, and everything that happened to your business, the good and the bad. Analyze what worked and what did not and jot down what you learned and how you grew. This is also your harvest.
The events themselves are gone, left to the seasons to fertilize the soil of your life. Remembering the happy ones, the fun ones, the successful ones, can help you recreate those emotions in you, which will in turn attract more events like them. However, there’s no point dwelling on the painful, the sad, or the challenging events. (That would attract more like them.) They’re in the past. Thank them for their service and let them go. Write down what you learned from them.
The expansion, the growth, the improvement those experiments and experiences brought to you, those things you keep. They never leave you again. These are parts of your harvest. They are now a part of you, and of your business as well.
Take time to appreciate the growth of the past three seasons. Give thanks for it.
Release the events that brought you that growth with love and true appreciation.
Assignment: Try to make a true and sincere list of how you've grown, how your business has grown, things you've learned, and ways you've expanded since the beginning of this year.
If you do this work now, you’ll be ready for a Samhain ritual to help you assimilate the fruits, and gratefully release the events that brought them. Write down your observations and thoughts as you do this exercise of review.
I’ll post a ritual closer to Halloween.
Enjoy your mulling!